Thursday, January 9, 2014

JUST ARRIVED: A Superhero with a MegaWatt Mission!

Comic books about football players?! Watt-ever are you talking about?!

Although the Library of Justice tends to celebrate superheroes of the caped and super-cosmic variety, today we'd like to honor one of the earthly realm:

Houston Texan defensive end and former Wisconsin Badger, J.J. Watt!

Throughout his collegiate career, although J.J. was certainly known for his defensive dominance, he was also--more importantly!--known for his work ethic. Originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin, J.J. started out playing football at Central Michigan University. After one season, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin, where his defensive excellence help take the Badgers to two bowl games. He was also honored as an All American and a Lott Trophy winner. Throughout all of his athletic achievements, J.J. has always been celebrated for having great character and a tireless drive to be the best athlete and person he can possibly be.

His motto, "Dream Big. Work Hard." has always been an essential part of J.J.'s persona. We all understood that that was what he was really about.

No one in Wisconsin was surprised  when J.J. went 11th in the NFL draft. Nor were any of us surprised that, since his arrival in Houston, he's been racking up trips to the Pro Bowl and honors like Defensive Player of the Year.

Don't mess with this Texan!
This guy is truly this good.

But the part that makes him great is what he does off the field. Before he'd ever sacked a pro quarterback or shown the state of Texas what Watt was all about, J.J. had established his charitable foundation. In J.J.'s own words:

"I hope to make you proud of me on the field as well as off the field by helping the kids in the community have the same opportunities that were afforded to me. That is only possible with the support of people like you and for that I’d like to say thank you! I would not have received such success if it were not for the support of athletics…. this is the intent of my organization…."

The Justin J. Watt Foundation strives to "provide after-school opportunities for children in the community to become involved in athletics, so that they may learn the basic character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers."

Pretty super-heroic, don't you think?

So it shouldn't surprise you that J.J. Watt was one of the first people chosen when D.C. Comics partnered with the NFL and Gatorade to tell the stories of professional football players. His comic book, MegaWatt, appeared online this fall and was given out at a Texan's game at the end of December. The story documents J.J.'s evolution from an over-looked college prospect to the apex of football stardom. Most importantly, it emphasizes the significance of work ethic, perseverance, and character.

When the Library of Justice learned about this comic book, we wrote to the J.J. Watt Foundation via their Facebook page and requested a copy. And guess Watt? The lovely folks of the JJWF sent plenty of copies for our Little Free Library! How awesome is that?! We hope you'll stop by and learn all about J.J.'s journey from small-town kid to NFL MegaWatt superstar.

Like any tale worth telling, it's all about dreaming big, working hard, and always believing in your abilities. We think that's pretty amazing...and we know you will too!

**Thank you again to the Justin J. Watt Foundation for sending us the comics...and for all the work you do to provide athletic opportunities for kids. We think that's super cool! Anyone interested in learning about the foundation should follow them on Facebook or visit their website. Along with learning about J.J. and his foundation's work, you can buy merchandise and support their efforts.